Misconduct Charges Against Family Cou...
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Marshfield, MA

#41 Mar 23, 2009
For those of us who didn't know and Amicus curiae or friend of the court is someone who brings to the courts attention some point of law or fact something which would otherwise have been overlooked usually this would be a member of the bar and occasionally the law officers are asked or are allowed to argue a case in which they are not instructed to appear

We'd love to learn more about specifically what you have appealed and why.

Re: What you intend to file. I believe there is a statute of limitations on filing the appeal. To preserve your rights you must file within (! forget exactly 30 or 60 days?).

Judge Livingstone resigned last Spring - so the time for filing your appeals may be gone. We have heard, though none confirmed that people are still filing complaints against him. Complaints can be filed up to 3 years after the incident.

FYI - the Topix forum in Scituate MA has a list of about 90 comments you may be interested in. It will not show up on the first page. Click on "See more" to view thread and add comments.

Apologies if your emails are getting bounced - no clue why. Please keep trying.

Thanks for contributing. Please share more.
- Jane
gary clark

Palmetto, FL

#42 Mar 29, 2009
that judge livingstone should be barred from even practicing law, he screwed my kid brother somthing awful in a child suport case and my brother paid faithfully every week even after having two heart attacks its about time this moron got bounced out on his ass i live in florida but if it had been me i would have went to jail before i let a guy like that put the screws to me now my brother needs to get a judge to get him his money back that he over paid not to mention she's a blood sucker i just hope my brother can get his money back plus he only has four more weeks of payments he's been paying for his two kids well into their twentys let them get a job and let his ex wifes husband support her instead of my brother.
David Oliver Sr

Merced, CA

#43 Aug 4, 2009
To Whom it may concern,
The main problem with family court procedure is that the "power lies in each individual judge". We are not aware of the true chararcter of those individuals that we pay to protect our civil rights. I am currrently in a situation where second-hand smoke has cost me 4 years without my child.
In California, there is no law pertaining to second-hand smoke. However, if they mandated family court laws the parents and judges would have a guideline to follow.
Without that guideline our children future relationship will be based on the individual character that preside over your case.
That is to much power for most human beings to handle, so they become arrogant and unreasonable.
To the person that stated "only those who complaint are those that the decision didn't go in their favor." That isn't always true, obviously if it is favorable for you, you have nothing to complaint about.
Honestly, there are cases where the judge has abuse his discretion and violated someone civil right. Judges know how difficult it is to prove this against them, therfore, they are likely to abuse their discretion more often then most. Not believing that a situattion like that does occur is truly naive.

Marshfield, MA

#44 Sep 24, 2009
In 2006, Judge L. limited my ability to relocate to only 30 minute's from former spouse home (already 20 minutes away) to not talk about schooling with child and other limits. His ruling cost me a fabulous job opportunity, proximity to family, support of a fabulous community with top rated schools.

Yesterday, after going "pro se" (becoming your own lawyer) and working with 5 lawyers, the new Judge in this case finally restored our rights, awarded appropriate support, thus lifting the cloud of despair that has been so terribly costly for so long.

Time to celebrate? Not really. The emotional cost of these last many years will take time to heal. Nobody, no family apart, no children ever should have to endure the hardship and emotional insecurity inflicted by poor administration of our laws and system.

We have to do better. Why do you think it took 5 lawyers? 3 of them were not capable of grasping the depth of the impact, nor were they interested in looking into application of the laws. The 4th is a high powered Boston attorney who coached me at a very reasonable rate – but she couldn’t appear on my behalf as the Judge would question how I knew of or afford that level of talent. The 5th is a saint. At one point I was afraid she too was going to try to dumb down the case – but my studies of the law and legal research reinforced my integrity with her. She managed to negotiate a good and right solution.

It’s attorney’s like #5 that we need more of. Those who will listen, understand and truly advocate for the family apart within the law. And Judge’s like Judge Menno, who will encourage same.

Thankfully Judge Livingstone is no longer on the bench. He was too subject to drama, and had too many problems of his own to think clearly. I understand today his wife is seriously ill. I wish her all the best, but can’t help pondering the parallel irony in circumstance.
i agree

Medford, MA

#45 Oct 6, 2009
John, I couldn't have said it better myself. Between corrupt judges and low life attorny's in the back pocket of those in the court systems, we need to keep our wits about us and chose our representation wisely. There should be a blog of who is a good attorney and who is bad attorney for the consumer's perusal so they can make an informed decision. Jane Smith.org has done a fabulous job of keeping us informed and aware of what is happening out there. Thank you Jane (probably not your real name) but you know who you are. Keep up the fight.
John wrote:
Cohasset is blocking updates to the subject of judicial misconduct and mayhem in our family legal system.
I guess they don't understand that freedom of speech thing - particularly when it may make a positive influence on outcomes in our family court system.
There are only so many lawyers in Cohasset. Is it only one of them who so terribly wants to limit our discussions? Hmmmm, the best thing to do while we figure that out is to simply avoid Cohasset attorneys. Be wary of doing business with them. If they don't participate in the discussion, or assist in a solution, they must be a big part of the problem. Right?
We suggest you move along to bigger waters. Get out of the small town mentality. Fabulous attorneys work at reasonable rates in nearby Quincy. They know the Plymouth County, Norfolk County and other court houses and Judges. They navigate, yet are not slaves to, the parochial club.
Most importantly, they are more apt to be in tune with important changes, such as limited representation. More interested in advocacy and equitable positive outcomes for all than in beating up an opposing parent at the expense of the children.
Until our local attorneys have the strength and courage to begin doing the right things for our families and children, you need to find other options. Seek counsel outside of Cohasset.
The BT

Plymouth, MA

#46 Oct 10, 2009
Judge Livingstone was our judge in 2004. I think he did the right thing and told us to start communicating and we did. He didn't make a judgment one way or the other, he just saw two people in pain who had been married for over twenty years, who obviously needed counseling and we got it and are still married. No, the marriage may never be perfect, but the family is certainly better off to this day.
I've read some pretty sad divorce cases and stories over the years where instead of communicating to the future ex, each spouse chooses to throw expensive flaming darts at each other through their lawyers, and who wins? The lawyers do, and the couples and their children always lose. Unless someone is being abusive, most divorces are needless and just based on selfishness. Move back into the bedroom and talk. Get help.
If I have to I hear "I've been living in his shadow long enough, and it's MY time to shine" one more time from another forty something who thinks she has it too tough, I think I'm going to puke. I've heard that crap from many customers over the years and every one of them complains how the judge is so unreasonable. Just because your girlfriend got the house doesn't mean you will Sunshine.
Most of those ladies aren't remarried and the ones who are seem more miserable than before. If you've had nothing but bad relationships and keep getting divorced, there is a common denominator, it's YOU. Here's your sign. Get help.
Jane SO

Marshfield, MA

#47 Oct 12, 2009
With due respect BT, your story doesn't make sense.

Judge's don't counsel couples.

If you were before the Judge, one of you had filed for divorce, you both probably contacted attorneys, went through the negotiating phases and made it to court either to have your agreement "blessed" by the court, or to argue more perhaps through to trial.

Perhaps the Judge is/was a personal friend of yours who, as a friend, did his best to encourage you to avoid divorce? Please share more.

You do make some cultural points that are worthy of consideration.
1. Is it truly better to remain in an unhealthy relationship perhaps fraught with neglect, angry battles, name calling, passive aggressiveness, unfulfilling in the bedroom all in the name of preserving mutual financial assets that you will fight over eternally anyway?
2. Is it wiser, smarter, healthier to perpetuate patterns of abuse through said neglect etc. and allow that to be the role models you pass on to next generations?
3. Don’t you want your children, your neighbors children, to have better options? Hope for a more fulfilling relationship in their adulthood?

Most marriages start out as partnerships. Keeping them that way is the though part. Congratulations to those who do!

You are in fact correct. Culturally it is still better, for women especially, to remain married for no other reason than to perpetuate the myth that a married woman (and her children) are happier or somehow better off in an abusive, oppressive, repressive, unequal relationship than free to be herself seeking at truly loving companion again.

Most of my dearest friends are in long, 20+, year marriages. However, those who’ve made the gut wrenching decisions to move on, deserve equal respect for their courage in seeking what’s truly best for their families, the health and well being of all – including their long time friends.

Osterville, MA

#48 Oct 22, 2009
Just a few suggestions for the weary.
1. Lawyers get paid to litigate. The more they litigate, the more money they make. Therefore, if you hire an attorney, be sure to manage their costs (billing to you) by telling them what you authorize and what you DON'T authorize. Be careful not to rant & rave to them about your situation, opinions, etc. A therapist is much less expensive and do you more good.
2. The P&F Court system, i.e. judges, lawyers, GAL's, masters, court personnel, etc., is designed to take as much of your assets and estate as they can. It is designed to MAXIMIZE the funds the State receives as incentives and reimbursements from the Federal Gov't under such programs as Social Security, welfare, AFDC, etc, etc. The State brought in more than $50M in 2008 under child support enforcement alone. It's just more money to fund our gov't bureaucracy. Read SS Act of 1974, Title IV-D as one source.
3. The Courts are designed to promote conflict thus prolonging litigation to maximize $$. They operate to destroy families rather than preserve them.
4. "Best interest of the children" are hollow words as so many things Judges say in court. It's NOT about CHILDREN, It's ALL about MONEY. The words Truth, Justice, Fairness, Equality, etc. have no meaning or place in MA courts.
5. Judges are corrupt right up through the Administrative offices, Board of BAR Overseers, Commission on Judicial Conduct, Appeals Court, State Supreme Court, etc. Don't trust a one of them. They aree all lawyers protecting each other and the stream of money coming in from the Federal Government.
6. Learn as much as you can, seek assistance and go Pro Se (represent yourself) as much as possible. You can represent yourself fine in most actions before the court.
7. Get involved with certain Family/Father's Rights organizations. People there can be of great assistance to you in terms of information and guidance.
FatherhoodCoalition.org (not only for men, also for women)
Call 617-SAD-DADS
Good Luck.

Marshfield, MA

#49 Oct 26, 2009
You make a lot of good points. However, you miss the main point....Parents are usually of both genders, and the primary stated purpose of our laws including child support guidelines, custody, visitation etc., is providing for the children.

We encourage public debate about the injustices of family court proceedings and attorneys who lose all site of the true best interest of children.

We do not promote further divisiveness due to gender. Fathers groups are often made up of angry men fueling the fires in family court. Angry men, angry women - the anger is what attorneys thrive on. Attorneys welcome your fight - it's costly to you and the family divided, but they win. The more anger, the more profit for the attorneys and court system in processing your motions and pleadings etc.

Your divisiveness prolongs the agony, increases financial loses, and leaves everyone in a mess - except the attorneys and our courts.
- Jane

Hyannis, MA

#50 Jan 31, 2010
Are people getting beyond decisions made in Judge L’s court?
One man, who’s child was moved out of state w/out his knowledge under Judge L., has local Counsel advising him not to pursue change of venue (to state) because there are too many complicated issues on the table. In his case, other state would provide more equitable child support; likely result in 9 week court ordered workshop for high conflict cases to settle issues out of court; but local atty would lose revenue, local court loses a paying child support order.
Courts receive Fed funding for child support payments made. If order leaves the state so goes funding.
Best interest of children is irrelevant.
One woman’s case finalized by a subsequent Judge sold her house, lost professional accreditation as couldn’t keep up fees; ability to work diminished. The father, involved with church/ socially connected with new Judge, alleged to be thriving, hires sitter for dad weekends while he and girlfriend enjoy time together. This case is typical. Most will not see anything wrong with the lack of equity and providing for best interest of children.
JSO is pursues education. One member secured cert in Paralegl studies, completed Rule 8 mediation training, continues studies.
JSO helped file 2 complaints with BBO (Board of Bar Overseers disciplines attorneys). One complaint resulted in agreement to arbitrate. Upon learning arbitrator is the MA Bar Association, person filing complaint declined to go forward. Go figure! How can an arbitration be unbiased if the decision maker is the industry trade group for attorneys who’s motto is “Your partner in the profession”.
2nd complaint resulted in investigation. The Plymouth atty violated MA Rules of ethics on several counts. Details to be published after the Feb. hearing date. Thus far atty had to return client’s retainer, file forms previously ignored. We hope apology to public is forthcoming. What’s really sad here is, this attorney did nothing unusual. Unethical, but not unusual.
JSO encourages you to know & stand up for your rights, advocate for application of laws, and keep communicating. You make a difference.

Lawrence, MA

#51 May 17, 2011

Please tke a look at this mans legacy, he may be gone but I'm still being attacked...
been there

Duxbury, MA

#52 May 21, 2011
This situation doesn't have anything to do with children/family issues but I had Judge Livingstone in probate court and he didn't take the time to read my complaint against Attorney William Ohrenberger of Scituate regarding excessive fees charged to my father's estate. In short, my father was of unsound mind and had dementia. My sister and Attorney Ohrenberger conspired to re-write the Will, Mr. Ohrenberger inserted himself as co-executor and my sister co-executrix without my knowlege (and I was originally excutor of the estate and Atty. Ohrenberger not even in the picture). My father was not aware of what he was signing and was the victim of undue influence. Not until my father's death did I find out what they had done. Atty. Ohrenberger raped my father's estate of close to $100,000 and so I went to court and had Judge Livingstone. I believe if the Judge had looked over the medical records and took the time to read my case thoroughly, I would have won, but no.......Judge Livingstone's case load was heavy and he just pushed us through the court and let Atty. Ohrenberger try to walk away with my inheritance. We kept fighting and the only good thing to come out of our three year fight is a "Motion for Clarification of Order" that Judge Livingstone admits that Atty. Ohrenberger charged excessive fees or $42,000 which he had to put back in the estate. If an attorney has to be told to put back money, how can you trust him. I am glad Judge Livingstone is paying for his wrongdoings. I am wondering if I have any recourse in my case to have it reviewed by another judicial judge??? We have found out the BBO (Board of Bar Overseers) is useless. Their answer was "well, you got it back, didn't you?" That wasn't the point. He shouldn't have taken it in the first place. If anyone has any comments, please respond.
Thank you.
Laura Gallagher

Brockton, MA

#54 Apr 18, 2013
I agree ! he has punished me for no reason , he just didn't like me .... I thought the system was here to protect us but with judges like Livingstone sitting back and feeding off our misery and pain .... I believe in God and I also believe we will have our day and be judged ! Michael Livingstone which way will you go up or down ????
Laura Gallagher

Brockton, MA

#55 Apr 18, 2013
I'm pretty sure that know one here cares about the nice thing the judge did you for you ! We are here not to commend him but to only Let him know how he's wronged us ... I'm happy life is great for you but unless you have something that pertaining to the misconduct charges your deleted !

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